Chris Yandek – The Voice of CYInterview
Representing the new era of celebrity and newsmaker interview journalism utilizing old school media principles, you have to look no further than Chris Yandek. By the age of 27, he has interviewed the legends, stars, world figures and newsmakers of today. In an information age where opinion and editorializing garners the most attention, Chris’ passion is getting the story straight and asking the tough questions. Chris’ straight from the horse’s mouth type of journalism has been seen in some quarters as a thing of the past; often a rarity. Yandek has been up to the challenge for over 11 years working with numerous print and broadcast outlets, all while building his online media platform CYInterview.com where many of his interviews are featured in full audio and text. He’s been called a future Larry King or Charlie Rose.
Chris Yandek, started out in a prerecorded podcast and online radio format. In 2000 at the age of 15, Yandek expanded his interest for the world of professional wrestling into print and broadcasting by first covering the sport’s leading athletes. Yandek then moved into mainstream coverage of entertainment, sports, news and a broad range of current events.
In the world of Hollywood, Chris has spoken with everyone from icons including: James Caan, Ernest Borgnine, Diahann Carroll, Robert Wagner, Angela Bassett, Geoffrey Rush, Burt Young, Kathleen Turner, Whoopi Goldberg, and Karen Allen. Also, more recent stars of today including: Zoe Saldana, Kate Beckinsale, Eva Longoria, Kevin James, Laura San Giacomo, Kellan Lutz, Anika Noni Rose, Alyssa Milano, Keke Palmer, Terrence Howard, Benjamin McKenzie, Virginia Madsen, LisaRaye McCoy, Sanaa Lathan and Cheryl Burke among others.
In March 2011, Chris got the great honor of speaking exclusively with Hollywood legend Robert Wagner to remember his friend the great Elizabeth Taylor [see here].
His August 2011 profile of Avatar actress Zoe Saldana helped set the record straight that she didn’t have a near emotional breakdown as the media reported. The interview was covered by numerous media outlets [see here].
In the sports field, he has tackled the likes of professional athletes and legends that include Cal Ripken Jr., Randy Moss, John Smoltz, Evander Holyfield, Dan Marino and George Foreman. He’s also no stranger to having candid discussions with some of America’s most brilliant and successful coaches that include former Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy, who went to numerous Super Bowls. And Pat Summitt, the most “winning-est” coach in men’s or women’s college basketball history at the University of Tennessee where she’s won numerous national titles. His profile on 2008 College Football Coach of the Year and NY Times Best Selling Author Mike Leach went into great detail about his firing from Texas Tech and the media storm that followed. Coach Leach is now a CYInterview regular. He’s also spoken with many Olympic athletes including Sasha Cohen, Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tim Morehouse and Evan Lysacek.
In 2007, Yandek brought up the idea to figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi to do Dancing with the Stars. During the interview, Ms. Yamaguchi was hesitant and said she didn’t really want to be judged. After several months the interview was picked up by a major media outlet [see here], and as they say, the rest is history. Not only did Ms.Yamaguchi end up doing the reality dance show, she won it.
In 2011, Chris scored a one on one interview with Pittsburgh Steeler Antwaan Randle El before Super Bowl 45. He also had 35 compelling minutes with Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in a discussion about his life 12 years after Denzel Washington played him in the movie The Hurricane. His profile with figure skating and Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek was an instant hit across the internet which included the figure skating community. People got a chance to see a more personal side of Evan. They wondered what was in his future. Yandek also paid tribute to baseball legend Harmon Killebrew who passed away in May of 2011. Chris interviewed him in 2007. He also profiled the last surviving umpire from the Negro Baseball Leagues, Bob Motley. And, he spoke with baseball legend Darryl Strawberry on his life today.
Chris has not neglected music. Yandek has spent time with many music legends and the stars of today. He spoke to Mary Wilson of the The Supremes about the fading feud between her and original group mate and music legend Diana Ross and why she is still in music today. He spoke with Kelly Rowland of the very popular girl group Destiny’s Child. Rowland’s group mate Beyonce went on to many other ventures and is one of the biggest stars in America today. Rowland set the record straight about her house not being in foreclosure, other rumored financial difficulties, and parting ways with her management representation by Beyonce’s father. She said she needed a change for the future of her music career.
One of Yandek’s most highly regarded moments in the subject of music and one of the highlights of his career to date is his one-hour interview with two former Sony executives Christ Apostle and Cory Rooney on the life of Michael Jackson. The interview has been translated into numerous languages and has been seen by more than 100,000 people on the Internet. The interview has new viewers daily and is an on going YouTube phenomenon.
Chris was the first person to interview R&B sensation Mya, during her Dancing with the Stars run that took her all the way to the finals in 2009. He spoke with Booker T. Jones who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Chilli of the best selling female group in the USA of all time, TLC. Chilli told Chris exclusively she has never been married. In 2010, Yandek did a profile with Michael Bolton that his fans called the best interview he had done in years. Bolton talked about his serious dedication to everything he does in music, and gave listeners an inside view of who Lady Gaga really is. Bolton shared his excitement about working with the great Barbra Streisand. He was also candid enough to talk about the future of his personal life.
In 2011, Yandek’s two interviews with Michael Jackson’s sister La Toya Jackson were big hits for many people. Chris’ first interview with La Toya shed light on some stories of Michael that were new to his fans. This interview was talked about across many forums. There was also an in-depth discussion about many topics surrounding her brother’s death in both interviews.
Chris’s August 2011 profile with Joss Stone, considered one of the greatest vocalists by many of this current time, received press [see here] coverage across the world for her comments on Lady Gaga and Madonna. Ms. Stone gave a very candid profile on her music style, life and the ongoing changes in the music business.
Chris’s February 2012 World Exclusive interview with Canadian singer Keshia Chante put the end to three years of rumors about the possibility of her portraying Aaliyah in the biopic of her life. Keshia once and for all, for the first time told the story of the possible Aaliyah movie role and what exactly happened. Ms. Chante explained she did meet people to talk about playing Aaliyah, but revealed that the reservations amongst various camps resulted in the stalling of the project up. And it’s currently lingering and indefinite. The interview was covered by various media outlets and talked about everywhere including here.
Other music acts interviewed over Chris’s career include Spice Girl Mel B, Kimberley Locke, Wynter Gordon, Ace Young, Alexandra Taveras, Michael Bivins, Shontelle Layne, and Grandmaster Flash among others.
When it comes to everything else in the world of newsmakers and other media figures, Chris has been along for three one-hour conversations with the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura, discussing the state of America. He spoke with Steve Wozniak formerly of Apple who made many great contributions to the personal computer. He talked with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America months before her very public breast cancer battle. He got a profile from her of the many years she put in to get to where she is today in the media world. Roberts told Yandek after the interview she believed he would go far in the media industry. He asked millionaire and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons if he thinks about the music he puts out to the public and about the aftermath of Don Imus’ comments.
In 2011, Pastor Ted Haggard was profiled by Yandek as he continues on his road to redemption. Chris interviewed celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck while he was preparing for the upcoming Grammys and Oscars.
In the second half of 2011, Yandek entered a new subject area by featuring interviews with members of Congress, presidential candiates and other prominent political figures. Chris interviewed newly elected Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of New York in July 2011. Hochul pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent political history winning the 26th district in New York. Hochul came back for a second interview in August of 2011. Yandek also spoke with veteran Republican Congressman Walter B. Jones of North Carolina in June and September of 2011.
In October of 2011, Chris alongside Jay Bildstein made CYInterview history by welcoming their first presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain. In the interview Mr. Cain said he would be willing to take a pay cut as President and also would propose legislation to Congress to cut their salaries substantially.
A month later in 2011, Republican nominee hopeful for president, Michele Bachmann joined Chris and Jay Bildstein for a CYInterview that analyzed Congresswoman Bachmann’s fiscally conservative values. The CYInterview speaks for itself.
In February of 2012, Chris Yandek and Jay Bildstein were honored to welcome the former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker who served during the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Chris posed a question to David Walker regarding where America is headed. Mr. Walker responded: “We’re two years away from where Greece was when it had its crisis.” The interview was covered on ABC News and Chris and Jay appeared on numerous radio programs across the USA to talk about this world story.
In May of 2012, Chris Yandek and Jay Bildstein spoke with the third choice for President of the United States former two term Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson. Mr. Johnson captured the Libertarian Party nomination for President. He told Chris and Jay that the United States Government needs to balance its budget now to avoid monetary collapse.
In July of 2012, Yandek and Bildstein received coverage on both ABC News [see here] for their conversation with mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah Mia Love. Ms. Love stated she’d be willing to take a pay cut if elected to congress.
In August of 2012, CYInterview made history when Chris and Jay had a panel discussion with 2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Gloria Allred about the unfairness of the presidential debates.
He’s spoken with some of highest profile attorneys including Gloria Allred, Roy Black, Jeff Ashton and Vincent Bugliosi about numerous timely media and legal stories. He’s also interviewed the first African born Playboy Playmate of the Year in Ida Ljungqvist. He’s had discussions with some of reality TV’s most well known personalities such as America’s Next Top Model winners Jaslene Gonzalez and CariDee English, the girls from The Hills Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port and reality TV and My Space Asian sensation Tila Tequila.
In the beauty pageant world, Chris Yandek has spoken with Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes from Angola, Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella, Miss Teen USA 2011 Danielle Doty, 2010 Miss America runner up Miss Arkansas Alyse Eady and former Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler.
In 2012, Chris expanded CYInterview’s coverage to in person interviews and covering the biggest events in Miami. Chris has done in-depth profiles with Lea Black, Karent Sierra, Elaine Lancaster and Lisa Hochstein of the Bravo TV show The Real Housewives of Miami.
Some of the biggest events he’s covered in the city include the yearly White Party, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim and the Miami Make-A-Wish-Gala. At these events, he’s had the opportunity to interview the likes of actor Christian Slater, Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars, TV’s Judge Alex and The XFactor Season one winner Melanie Amaro among others. Yandek has also been hitting up the nightlife scene on South Beach hanging with stars including Mya and Kimberley Locke.
The above are just a few examples. All of these interviews are unabridged, and can be found on CYInterview.com. Yandek has received press coverage from outlets including ABC News, Page Six of the NY Post, the front page of AOL, The Atlantic, TMZ, MTV, the Chicago Sun Times, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Hollywood Life and many other major outlets. Chris has also made media appearances being interviewed on radio stations across the United States about his CYInterviews from New York to California to Hawaii.
What listeners take away from the broadcasts of 27-year-old Chris Yandek is that he is a man who went to college like many Americans and earned two degrees in journalism, yet has worked for 10 years along side his studies to independently build on his original talent. Chris has dedicated his life to believing he could interview anyone, secure exclusives and ask the questions others feared to ask. He takes the chance at possibly creating news and angles the public deserves to hear. Chris is all about the work and putting out quality content that will inform the masses on any subject. It’s all he has wanted to do since he interviewed his first subject in 2000 at the age of 15.
He says of interviewing someone, “When I’m on the phone with any celebrity or newsmaker, I just see them as another human being. Their fame, accomplishments and money have no influence on what I will ask them. We’re all just part of the human race. Some just have more success because they wanted it more and were willing to put in the long hours. I treat my subjects with respect, give them a place to speak at length without interruption, and it’s all on the record, but you can guarantee I will challenge them. It takes a lot of work to secure these interviews, but longevity and dedication go a long way towards getting what you want in life.”